The stars have dimmed. Instead of observing, I feel I can rub shoulders and shake hands with guys like Josh, Jake, Kurt, & Scott, seeing them just like every other youth worker with a lanyard, and rejoicing that we’re teammates. I’m thankful for the intentional time of Heather and Katie.
Today wasn’t so much about general sessions teaching me anything. Today was totally about friendship. Going backwards, this is what I mean:
I got to reconnect with Andy Brazelton after several years. We met up at YS a few years back for the first time, after becoming social media friends. Tonight I flagged him down and the moment he saw my name tag, it all clicked. We got to talk, laugh, and chill on a couch and it was awesome.
I got to meet Scott Firestone face to face finally. I’ve been sending ideas that he’s been publishing for the last 3 years in Group Magazine. And instead of a networking/business/professional encounter, we just talked. I asked about writing more for Group, and then we talked about Risk Legacy and Star Wars X-Wing.
I ran into a guy I played eXtreme Croquet with in college.
I had a chance to sit with a couple from Michigan and give them encouragement and help them solidify a vision they have for their middle schoolers.
And perhaps the most captivating of all the friendships today was realizing that a bridge I thought lay smoldering in ashes was actually still very much in tact. I got to spend 2 hours at Hard Rock Cafe with the youth pastor (and his wife) from the church I left many years back. I thought it would be awkward, but it was sweet. He had the nicest things to say, and was very genuine. It was like a punch in the gut because I DIDN’T get to know them while I was there. We could’ve been great friends then. Now I appreciate the connection we got to establish today. I was humbled, but they would never know it. We laughed, we shared stories, we asked questions of each other. And I walked away from that Hard Rock feeling simultaneously like a chump and a champ.
I have loved my time creating new friendships and resurrecting old ones today.
If for nothing else, THIS day was worth every penny
our tithers I have spent.